Local Woman Who Made a Difference

Northumberland has a great ‘her’itage of women who have made an impact. These include:

Josephine Butler – one of the most revolutionary social reformers of the nineteenth century, born in Wooler.

Emily Wilding Davison – lived in Longhorsley and was fatally injured when she ran under the king’s horse at the Derby in 1913 for the suffragette cause.

Grace Darling – Grace Darling is a national heroine and Northumbrian icon. Grace was born in 1815 at Bamburgh, Northumberland and spent her youth in two lighthouses (Brownsman and Longstone) of which her father, William, was the keeper.

Grace Darling was 22 years old when she risked her life in an open boat to help the survivors of the wrecked SS Forfarshire on 7 September 1838. With her father, she rowed for over a mile through raging seas to reach them. Grace tragically died in four years after the rescue. She quickly became a national heroine and was awarded medals from the RNLI and Royal Humane Society. The courage that Grace and her family showed on that day is now legendary.

Dorothy Robson – In 1939, at her seventh attempt, Dorothy became Morpeth’s first female and first Labour councillor. Dorothy was instrumental in achieving so many things in Morpeth including slum clearance, privy conversion, clean drinking water, council house building, a public ambulance service, maternal & child health services, relocation of the workhouse with improved living con-ditions and an information & advice bureau. The sort of things we take for granted today but for which Dorothy fought long and hard and at considerable personal cost. A new book has been published about her life and work. It retails at £6 and is available from local bookshops or from the Dorothy Robson Memorial Group C/O Maureen Pearson, email maureenpearson27@googlemail.com, tel 01670 515552.

Belford also had its own highwaywoman, and Berwick its own female ghosts. Many local women also believe that the famous ancient ‘cup and ring’ marks carved into stones around the county are relics of an early matriarchal society.

HERitage can organise talks about these women and their legacy, or walks in the areas where they lived and worked.

Useful Information for Visitors to the Area

Here are some more sites that may be useful to women who are visiting the area for the first time. if you have suggestions for more sites to add that you’ve found women-friendly and useful, then please let us know and we’ll add a link….